Long Delayed Backlash Over Something You Said

PicassoA twitter conversation led me to this post.  It’s nearly ten years old but even more relevant now then it was when I wrote it.  Uh – “N is for Knowledge”!

My husband and I talked all night, he’s freakin’ interesting! He told me of some condescending remarks someone made to him some years ago. He replied with a verbal backhand, which the person did not expect.

The man did not expect it because he had status. He was living one of those insulated lives where everyone worships you. Even if they don’t worship you, they pretend they do, because of your position. You may be the one who gives out the grades, or the one who has the money or whatever.

Over time, you come to believe your every thought is golden. People look up to you because it’s understood and accepted in your circles, that you are the authority. This may lead you to make remarks that are idiotic or rude, because you have no fear of reprisal. You’re the one on top and that’s that.

So someone like my husband meets a person like this, and they have some exchange. The man on top sets my husband’s cutting remarks aside, because he can. I suspect that ten or more years can pass but during that time, things change and at some point, a person can recall what was said and find out, to their horror, that my husband was actually on top during the exchange, and they were, way, way, way down the hill.

Have you ever had this experience? I think most of us have.

You’ve really got to beware, when you are crazily sure you’re right about things; that the only correct perspective is your own. Pontificating to someone who has a lot more experience then you do, particularly if you’re discussing their area of expertise, is risky. Surrounding yourself with sycophants is almost guaranteed to be destructive over time.

As for the astrology, I am talking about the balance between Jupiter and Saturn here.

Have you ever woken up to the fact, you were wrong about something you were sure you were right about, and not only that, you missed by a mile? What was this like?

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Long Delayed Backlash Over Something You Said — 16 Comments

  1. Here and there, but I defer to experts. People have so much dfficulty listening and I have never understood this. If someone has spent a long time getting to know a subject in depth, why would you think you know more- but more importantly, why throw away the opportnity to learn something from someone who knows??

    I have no problm admitting my ignorance, but there are a few areas where I am definitely an expert. If someone wants to argue or not accept it, I pull back and happily say to myself, ok, fine, go shoot yourself in the foot Mr./Ms. Know It All. I used to think it was unbecoming to say I told you so, but some hardheads I find a way to get the point across. Let them know I know. Why do I hve to be on the receiving end of assholery when I am being nice and trying to help?

    Humilty is not demeaning, it is a virtue. Some people need to get over themselves.

  2. I had a Leo boss who was always right even when she was wrong. (Weirdly most of my bosses have been Leos – one was really nice, a couple were really stupid, one was deceitful and greedy, and the one I’m talking about here was a judgmental, condescending, micromanaging PIA to work for) I hated working for this woman – she was was a total nightmare and I dreaded coming to work every day during the three years I worked for her. I always had to do things her way even if it was the stupid way or I risked being ripped a new hole because “she was always right”. I don’t miss working for her, having to endure her temper tantrums when things I did “her way” did not work out, and just her mean bitchiness in general. I’ve lost touch with my old boss and former colleagues so I don’t know what happened to her but it will be interesting to see if she actually furthered her career with that authoritarian attitude. It might have gotten her as far as she was at the time I worked for her but she was a total moron and people had to recognize that at some point.

  3. Oh yes, especially when younger. Very humbling.

    A person can enjoy their narcissistic delusions from time to time but I don’t recommend believing in them, lest you delude yourself into thinking you’re a perfect being that surpasses all.

  4. lol, I remember telling my mother (at sixteen, living at home as a nonpaying family member) that she didn’t know what the real world was like.

    Bwahahahah…I cringe every time I think of my loud mouthed, ignorant self letting that one drop, and probably with typical teenage loathing. I was SUCH an asshole.

  5. LOL, brizo, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. And this:

    “Oh yes, especially when younger. Very humbling.”

    It’s horrible to wake up and realize that you’re the actual moron, or you’re the actual problem.

    Breakdown to breakthrough, though.

  6. Sure, all the time. When you’re surrounded by people in different fields who all know a lot more than everyone else around, it’s a daily occurrence. I listen, and take note, think things through to make sure I understand, and store it away. I like it. It helps me to grow and learn.

    I do meet people who assume that it’s always about the power dynamics, and sometimes it’s just time for the truth or another perspective to be expressed, and I do. I’m not going to hold back if there is no need for power struggles for dominance, social or of the personality.

  7. I’m not far from 50 so yeah I’ve had this. But i’ve done it to a select few others too. I sometimes wonder if they ever figure it out at any point. But then it doesn’t matter to me if they do.

    It first happened to me in my very early 20’s. It was traumatic because I couldn’t see the truth and was trying so hard to see it. But the other person knew all along. When I caught up and got it – it was like the wind being knocked out of me. It was a big lesson in learning about people, that those revered like this are sometimes hurtful. That people aren’t the image they project.

    I still experience this from time to time but being older now, I never think I’m right full on. I always think I only know half of what I know despite people telling me otherwise. Wisdom does come with age thankfully. For most of us at least I hope.

  8. I have definitely experienced this! Especially in my early 20s. You really don’t know enough to know you know nothing until someone finally gets through to you. I had lived all over the world and had a lot of advantages and experiences and stuff other people didn’t have but it took a while to figure out that privilege is provincial in its own way. I’m glad I learned that.

  9. “Over time, you come to believe your every thought is golden. People look up to you because it’s understood and accepted in your circles, that you are the authority. This may lead you to make remarks that are idiotic or rude, because you have no fear of reprisal. You’re the one on top and that’s that.”

    I never want to be like this, and I mean never. If I so much as smell like this, shoot me. Period.

    Honestly I can’t recall experiencing this too much. Saturn square Mercury…I don’t have too much invested in being right. I fret over casual errors I’ve made in communicating and I frequently feel bad about indulging in my cavalier bad side, but generally speaking I don’t experience backlash.

  10. “Have you ever woken up to the fact, you were wrong about something you were sure you were right about, and not only that, you missed by a mile?”

    Yes, basically every day of my life.

  11. I’m reminded of the cute story I just heard of my cousin’s littles… the little girl says to the little brother (who has problems with his r’s), “I love to play with you, but I need to be alone sometimes.” the little brother says, “wy would you be so wude to someone who wuvs you so much?” they are both too cute.

    hardly related, but it made me think of it and it’s too cute not to share. 😀

  12. that high status guy just got shocked and forgot about your husband within the next 5 minutes

    he will never, ever, ever care about it

    most people just live their life`s their own way, they search for pleasure and avoid pain

    the only thing that changes a person you mentioned, is a major-major change in life circumstances

    none of us is so important, that few remarks can makes us have a lasting imprint within someone`s life, try to achieve eternity another way, if that`s your desire :)))))))

    as an example:
    my father told me some stuff a decade ago, where I`ll end up, he was right at that time, but he was wrong in the long run, he admited it to me, but the funny thing is I couldn`t even recall his “prophecy” nor did I care at that moment

    may the pluto-uranus square shower you with the gifts you really need :))))))))))

  13. I would like to add, that sometimes it is also a matter of living out your role and your life. You understand what the other person is saying, but there are still aspects of your life and values that you must uphold, even if it looks wrong to the other person. Different shoes, different paths…Of course in the end someone is closer to the truth, but people live out their lives in many ways.

  14. I was intellectually arrogant when I was in my twenties, and no doubt wrong about a lot of things, esp politics. But I never had the kind of sycophantic fan club which would let me get too big0headed – on the contrary I surrounded myself with much older people who knocked a bit of sense into me.

    Meanwhile, back on the blog… oh dear, we seem to have yet another troll aboard!

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